Changing instrument names in Engrave?

Question from a Dorico newbie: I’ve composed a piece using the (sectional) instrument names available in Setup – e.g., Trumpet in Bb, French Horn in F, etc.; but I’d like to be able to print the score/parts with names such as Trumpet, French Horn, … . I’ve edited the names in Setup to remove the pitch info, but these changes don’t show up in Engrave, and I can’t find a way to overwrite them (no mention of this in the videos I’ve watched). I realize the playback engine may need full names, but shouldn’t it be possible print them out differently? (By the way, changing the names in Setup hasn’t affected playback.)


The instrument names that show up in the top left-hand corner of each part layout come from the name of the layout rather than the names of the instruments: you can edit the name of the layout in Setup mode to change what appears there.

As for the staff labels themselves, expand the appropriate player’s card in the Players panel on the left-hand side of Setup mode, and you’ll see a little label corresponding to the instrument held by the player. Hover over it and a little chevron will appear: click and a context menu will appear. Choose Edit Names to open the dialog from which you can change the instrument’s name.

You can influence whether the transposition of the instrument shows in the label on the Staff Labels page of Engraving Options.

Hi, Normberk.
I know there has been a great post about that in december or january… You might want to change the name of the layout, in Setup mode, in the right panel list. This is the name that will appear on your parts, regardless of any other change you might have done elsewhere.

[Edit] : Daniel, you have been faster than me, again :wink:

To follow up on my recent question about changing instrument names: For me, Daniel’s advice to edit the names in Setup does lead to the new names appearing on individual parts of a full score (eg., Trumpet rather than Trumpet in Bb, etc.) but not on the full score itself.


Norm, can you perhaps zip up your project and attach it here so that we can take a look? You should certainly find that the changes you make in the Edit Names dialog for each instrument are reflected in the staff labels you see in the margin in the full score layout. Changes you make to the names of layouts in the Layouts panel on the right-hand side of Setup mode will only appear in the part layouts, and not affect the staff labels.

Daniel, I’ve attached the file in question, my first Dorico project. (I messed up an earlier attempt to attach it to my reply, so forgive me if this is a repeat.) On the leftside Setup panel, I’ve edited the names for Trumpet I in Bb, Trumpet II in Bb, and French Horn in F to eliminate the key info (not really necessary in the context I’m mainly interested in.) As you can check, these changes show up in the Edit Names box, but not in the Full Score. I’ve even tried eliminating the key info in the names by directly typing over them in the instrument panels, as you can see with Trumpet II – still no effect in the Full Score. The names appearing on the rightside panel do show these changes in the Parts, as you point out.


Hi Daniel,

I want to edit the instrument names for both the Clarinet in Bb and the Horn in F so that they don’t contain key info. “Edit names” in Setup mode only gives the option to change the text of the instrument names but not to remove key information - see attached where I changed the name (asking for help) and the Bb remains. Is there a workaround?
Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 7.30.38 PM.png

In Layout Options, on the ‘Staves and Systems’ page, you can switch off ‘Show transposition in staff labels’.

In the forthcoming update you will have a bit of additional control in this area, because the Edit Names dialog will allow you to specify whether the transposition should appear always, never, or only when the ‘Show transposition in staff labels’ option is on.

There will still be more to do in this area in the future, but hopefully this will be a useful step forwards.

In the meantime, I have encountered an issue that I should usually be able to resolve.

I have added an instrument to a player. That instrument is Piccolo Trumpet in A.

In the score, I want it to show “Tromba piccolo (La)” in full, and “Trb. picc. (La)” in abbreviated form.

This is what I do (probably an ineffective way, but it usually works):

I go to Setup mode, to the Players list. I pick the instrument in question > Edit names.
Singular full name: Tromba piccolo (La).
Singular short name: Trb. picc. (La).

Layout options for this player:
Staff labels on the first system: Full.
Staff labels on subsequent systems: Abbreviated.
Show transposition in staff label: OFF.

The visible result:

Tromba piccolo (La) in A
A Trb. Picc. La

The described method would usually produce

Tromba piccolo (La)
Trb. picc. (La)

and that’s what I would like to have.

Any ideas?

An edit: The “A” seems to be embedded very deeply in the instrument name. If I change the instrument to B flat piccolo trumpet (the more common tuning), it will not show “B flat” in the instrument names, neither in full nor in abbreviated form.

The transposition bit of the instrument name is unchangeable at the moment, but as Daniel said above, in the next update you’ll be able to decide whether you want that bit to show or not.

I see how you can hide the transposition in the instrument name or move it to the front (Bb Trumpet vs. Trumpet in Bb), but that appears to only be an option in instruments like clarinets and trumpets. Is there a way to show the transposition on saxophones (Eb Alto Saxophone, etc.)? I’m not finding it and changing this option in the Layout Options doesn’t seem to be changing it in my score.


It’s not an option in Dorico 1.1.10, but it will be an option in Dorico 1.2, which you will have your hands on very soon.

In Layout Options, on the ‘Staves and Systems’ page, you can switch off ‘Show transposition in staff labels’.
Apparently doesn’t work for Horno even in Dorico 1.2
Am I losing something?

In the Edit Names dialog, which is accessed via the instrument menu in the expanded player card in the Players panel in Setup mode, you can specify whether an instrument’s transposition should be shown always, never, or should follow the Layout Options setting.

Thank you very much. Super fast answer.